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Intimidated by 3D modeling packages? Dip a toe in the water with CINEMA 4D (C4D) Lite, a slimmed down version of CINEMA 4D included with After Effects CC. Motion graphics designer Angie Taylor shows you how to build a complete sequence in C4D Lite, progressing from initial object modeling, to animation, lighting, camera rigging, texturing, and final render. Plus, learn to animate text, create random movement with wiggle expressions, track cameras in live-action footage to add new 3D elements, and light your scene. Angie also round-trips the project files to After Effects for visual effects and color correction. With over 100 videos, this course allows you to explore almost every aspect of 3D motion graphics creation, within this accessible introductory tool.
Here we have our scene with our robots on top of the building composited nicely together. Now, the one thing that would really bring this to life would be to add some fantastic lighting to it. And, we're going to do that in Cinema 4D. If you want to follow along, you can open up Chapter 11 Start.aep. I'm going to select my robots, and hit Command D, or Control E on Windows. To open up chapter 11 start.c4D where we can see the elements within the scene. Now there is one light in there and that light was created by After Effects and then imported in as part of a Cinema 4D scene.
When I exported and After Effects comp. Now if we render that, Cmd+R or Ctrl+R on Windows. You can see how it's looking, it's not looking great, we really need to add some lighting. If I switch off that point light. You can see what the point light is contributing. Not a lot, really. It's creating a few shadows and that's about it. Now, probably a good idea to keep that on because the angle is taken from the original footage. After Effects created that based on the 3D camera tracker. But if I double click that point light I can open up its light settings down here.
And I could maybe make some adjustments to that by going for example to the Shadows section and just adjusting the settings for the shadows slightly different from the controls. In After Effects. But, basically, density will determine how dark those shadows are. So, if I want to bring that down, I could bring it down to about 50%. And if we render that again, you'll see that shadow density is a lot more subtle. We're not getting those really dark edges on the text that we had that were cast from the robots earlier on.
So you can go in there and adjust the settings just as you would do in After Effects. You have a lot more control over the lights of course in here. You can change the type of light, which we'll have a look at later the type of shadow, the colors of the light the shadows, the intensity. All sorts of incredible control over lighting in Cinema 4D. You can even add noise and textures to the lights. But, if you're unfamiliar with lighting. Quite a good place to start is to start in the Content browser and looking at some of the presets that are provided for you in Cinema 4D.
I want to create some lights shining up at our robot from the floor and the presets are fantastic for doing this. If I double-click Presets to open them up and double-click the Light folder, which comes free with Cinema 4D Light. In the light and studio setups there are lots of little light rigs that you can use to apply to your project. And this is a great way of starting to learn about lighting in Cinema 4D. Now I'm going to start with this one here, Studio Ring Soft box.
All I need to do to apply it, is just simply double click it. And you see that, that lighting is applied to my scene. And if I hit Cmd R again, Ctrl R in Windows, you can see that that light's shining down on our objects. Now you will notice it's starting to take longer to render. This is one of the downsides of adding lots of lights. But, I'm going to show you a few ways of optimizing your scene, a little later. Which will help with that. Now if we want to make adjustments to that we need to go back to the Objects manager and select our Studio Rings Soft box and you'll see that it contains a frame with an array and a sweep and an array of lights.
So quite a complicated lighting setup that would normally take you quite a while to set up. It also has some expression applied to it and you can see that they're quite complex as well. So really what you're getting free is a very complicated lighting setup but its made very easy for you to use. And this is how you use it. Select it, and then go down to Soft Box options. And in here, you can make adjustments really easily to things like the radius. Make it slightly wider. The height.
What I actually want to do is have the light shining up from the bottom. So, I'm going to move them down. Now, best to do that in front view just to make sure we have them in exactly the right place. So we really want the bottom of the light touching. I'm also going to adjust the angle. So, let's adjust the angle so that they'e facing upwards towards our characters. And then I can also adjust the height again just by pulling it down. Okay, so we just those lighting setups adjusted.
And I'm going to jump back, so middle mouse click, middle mouse click again to jump back and we'll have quick render, Cmd+R, just to see how that's looking. Okay, that's looking okay. We will need some extra lighting to light the robot but we're going to do that a little bit later. I quite like the way this lights up at the edges. I do, however, want warmer light. So, I'm going to click on here and choose just a very slightly warmer color for the light. And you'll see that that just gives us a nice warmth.
On the edge of the robot, shadowed in a very white light, also gives some warmth to the text here. So, what else can we do. Well in order to speed things up a bit we could bring the light count down. I'm going to try four lights on there. And see how that looks. And you'll see that we're still getting the same warmth from the lights that we had before. So I'm quite happy with four as my settings there. Now there's all sorts of other settings down here that you can adjust for fall off, radius decay, whether or not the lighting is shown in the render, or In reflections.
All sorts of controls for your light down there. There's also object properties, coordinates as you would expect, and basic properties. But, most of the that you want to change when you apply a preset light like this, are changed down in the softbox options, or in the Options for the lighting setup. But, that's how you can start to learn about lighting by applying these presets and making changes to them. You start to learn what the various options do and what result they'll have on your scene.
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